Orr prep basketball star shouldn’t have been at early morning party: Mitchell

Written By By MARY MITCHELL Posted: 03/11/2014, 02:16am

What kind of teen house party rolls on until 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning?

That was the time that a disgruntled partier opened fire on a home in the 4900 block of West Race in the Austin neighborhood.

Six people were shot, including the star basketball player at Orr, Tyquone Greer, 19. Greer, who has a chance to follow in the footsteps of other successful Chicago athletes, was shot in the calf.

A former Orr player, DeShawn King, was shot four times. Four other young people were taken to area hospitals with bullet wounds.

All of the gunshot victims were between ages 17 and 22, according to police.

Given the fatal shootings that have killed hundreds of young people in the city in recent years, I’m grateful the outcome wasn’t worse.

Orr’s basketball coach, Louis Adams, lamented that teens are routinely being subjected to violence.

“This madness has to stop. We need to get this under control so that kids that want to do something with their lives can go out and have a good time without the threat of violence,” Adams told the Chicago Sun-Times.

But what do we really expect to happen to young people who are out at that time of the morning partying?

There were more than 100 people between ages 17 and 25 at the house party being held in the home’s basement. Just like the club, the partygoers were charged a cover.

After two young men got into an argument, one of them left and came back with a gun and shot up the home.

Obviously, the shooter could have become just as violent under different circumstances.

But there have been too many other instances in which an angry gunman shot up a house party.

At large events, teens are at a greater risk of becoming gunshot victims.

In January, 16-year-old Marques Harris was fatally shot at a party in Woodlawn after getting into an altercation with a man who left the party and returned with a gun.

Dionte Maxwell, 18, was fatally shot in June 2013, when a group of men came to a family birthday party and refused to leave.

In 2012, 13-year-old Tyquan Tyler was killed in a drive-by shooting after he left a party around midnight. His mother found him dying on a sidewalk.

“I regret letting him go to the party,” his mother told reporters.

Peace-loving teens have always had to tiptoe around their troubled peers in order to avoid trouble. But these teens don’t always consider the consequences of hanging out in environments that attract young people who don’t have anything to lose.

Greer has a lot to lose.

One bad decision and his bright future could easily disappear. Hopefully, this close call will give Greer a different perspective on what it means to hang out.

As for the parents of the wounded teens, it is possible that they didn’t know the real nature of this event. Maybe these parents did not know teens would be mixing with adults old enough to legally sip on a cocktail.

I can still remember the creative ways I found to get out of the house so I could sneak to a party.

But as parents, we are not being overly protective when we insist our teens respect a curfew.

As adults, it is on us to set reasonable house rules. Those rules help create neighborhoods that are safe for everyone.

When teenagers are among the victims of a shooting at a late-night throw-down, it shows that too many of us are falling down on our jobs.

Email: marym@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MaryMitchellCST

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